Two Democratic senators opposed Rahm Emanuel as U.S. ambassador to Japan in a committee vote Wednesday morning, though it was not sufficient to sink his nomination.
Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) had been the 2 “no” votes on the Foreign Relations Committee. It’s not clear whether or not there shall be extra Democratic opposition when Emanuel goes earlier than the total Senate for a vote.
In a press release Wednesday, Merkley defined his opposition, citing the Black Lives Matter motion and suggestions from civil rights leaders.
“Black Lives Matter,” Merkley mentioned in his assertion. “Here in the halls of Congress, it is important that we not just speak and believe these words, but put them into action in the decisions we make. I have carefully considered Mayor Emanuel’s record ― and the input of civil rights leaders, criminal justice experts, and local elected officials who have reached out to the Senate to weigh in ― and I have reached the decision that I cannot support his nomination to serve as a U.S. Ambassador.”
Emanuel’s nomination is considered one of Biden’s most controversial amongst progressive lawmakers. In 2019, Emanuel determined in opposition to operating for a 3rd time period, leaving because the least fashionable Chicago mayor in trendy historical past because of his mishandling of the killing of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old Black youth who was shot by a white police officer.
House members together with Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have additionally spoken out in opposition to making Emanuel ambassador.
Unless extra Democrats be part of Markey and Merkley, Emanuel might nonetheless be confirmed. He has waged an “aggressive behind-the-scenes effort” to get assist from each Democrats and Republicans, based on The Washington Post, and he seems to have the assist of a number of GOP senators.
But progressive anger with Emanuel goes again additional than his time as mayor of Chicago. As a House member and prime adviser to presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Emanuel grew to become identified for a pro-corporate policymaking, embodied by his position in shepherding the North American Free Trade Agreement by means of passage in 1994 and his inside objections to Obama’s pursuit of complete well being care reform in 2010.
This piece has been up to date with the committee vote.